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Friday, 4 March 2011

William & Alice: Fearless Females - 4

St. Chad's Church - a photograph taken by the son of William & Alice - Harry Rawcliffe Danson,

The marriage certificate of my maternal grandparents was among the family papers that I inherited. It recorded the wedding  on 11th April 1907 at St. Chad's Church, Poulton-le-Fylde,  Lancashire of William Danson, a 22 year old labourer 22 (father James, a joiner, deceased) and Alice English, a 22 year old spinster (father Henry, a painter,  deceased), both of Poulton-le-Fylde.  The witnesses were John and Annie Letham - names unknown to me.  

The Danson family are at the core of my family history research and I have traced them back to 1736.  Alice however represents the proverbial brick wall in my research, as despite intensive efforts, including a professional researcher,  I have found nothing about her life before marriage.  She died when I was a baby;  my mother and aunt were surprisingly reticent about her and I did not ask the right questions at the time. I know that she came to Poulton as nursemaid to the Potts family, prominent Methodists in the town and I have her prayer book presented on her confirmation in 1904 in Poulton. I was also told we shared the same birthday - 23rd September. The  1911 census return confirmed her birthplace as Bolton, Lancashire, but I have been unable to trace a birth certificate or entries in earlier censuses.

 This is one of the few photographs of Alice, with copies held by different members of the family.  As she is wearing a corsage, could this have been taken on her wedding day?  Again a question I should have asked my mother.

Among the family papers was this receipt  paid by Alice on February 26th 1907 for:
 Two yards of bodice lining, hooks, silk sundries and bodice making.

Was this her wedding outfit?  It surely must have had sentimental value for it to be kept? 


 In honour of National Women's History Month in the USA , Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist  blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts for March.

March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents?   Write a post about where they married and when.


  1. What a beautiful picture of the church to go along with that of your Grandmother. Even though you have few photos of her, this one is really nice and I love the receipt for the yardage etc. One would surly think if is close to the marriage date that it was indeed for her wedding stuff. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheri Hopkins

  2. A delightful picture of Alice. Good luck on finding more about this lovely lady.


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